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Sergeant Quentin George Murray Smythe VC

Discussion in 'British WWII Medals and Awards' started by Jim, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. Jim

    Jim Active Member

    Sep 1, 2006
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    via War44
    South African Forces: Royal Natal Carabineers Date Of Bravery: 5 JUNE 1942 Gazetted: 11 September 1942

    Quentin Smythe was born in Natal, South Africa, on 6 August 1916 and won his VC in the Western Desert in June 1942. His decoration was announced in the London Gazette three months later:


    For conspicuous gallantry in action in the Alem Hamza area on the 5th June, 1942. During the attack on an enemy strong point in which his officer was severely wounded, Sergeant Smythe took command of the platoon although suffering from shrapnel wounds in the forehead. The strong point having been overrun, our troop came under enfilade fire from an enemy machine-gun nest. Realising the threat to his position, Sergeant Smythe himself stalked and destroyed the nest with hand grenades, capturing the crew. Though weak from loss of blood, he continued to lead the advance, and on encountering an anti-tank gun position again attacked it single-handed and captured the crew. He was directly responsible for killing several of the enemy, shooting some and bayoneting another as they withdrew. After consolidation he received orders for a withdrawal, which he successfully executed, defeating skilfully an enemy attempt at encirclement. Throughout the engagement Sergeant Smythe displayed remarkable disregard for danger, and his leadership and courage were an inspiration to his men.


    Smythe died in Doonside, Natal, on 21 October 1997. His VC is an official replacement - one of just three in the trust's collection. It is not known how Smythe came to be separated from the original.

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